Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lucy Love~15 Weeks!

As you can see from the title of this post, our little Baby Layman has his/her first official nickname. We started out with just Baby, BL, or Baby Layman but my mom just wasn't happy with calling the baby that for who knows how, while on vacation several weeks ago, my mom woke up with an epiphany...and Lucy came to be! ha!

Nope, we don't know if Baby Layman is a girl and Lucy won't be her name even if we have a little girl...but for now, Baby Layman is affectionately called Lucy. It does make things a tad bit easier actually having a name...I've just made my mom promise that we won't be calling the baby Lucy after he/she has an official name!

Today we're 15 weeks and 5 days...but we'll call just pretend it's the beginning of 15 weeks. With my change day being on a Saturday I just can't get all the other posts done and get a pregnancy update in there, so...I figure I'm doing good just getting it in during the week of! Also, my doctor's appointments will always be on a Wednesday so Thursday just seemed like a good day to do an update!


Total Weight Gain/Loss: No idea...and I'm not about to go buy a scale to keep at our house!

Gender: Still undecided...but we've started planning our gender reveal party for July 27th!

Movement: Nope...not yet!

Sleep: Is still great, but I've definitely been getting up more often to use the bathroom!

What I miss: If you read my post from yesterday, raw cookie dough! And cold sub sandwiches from just about anywhere!

Cravings: I really haven't been craving anything this point I'm really trying to keep my eating habits the same because I know later on they are bound to change and I may be eating like a horse!

Symptoms: Just an expanding waist line, and the fact that dress pants are becoming increasingly uncomfortable. I think that part of my productivity yesterday was possibly due to an increase in my energy level as I enter the second trimester. I'll definitely take it! That lethargic, tired crap from the first trimester is for the birds!

Maternity Clothes: Not quite! I haven't had to officially sideline any of my dress pants or skinny jeans, but I figure it's only a matter of time before those get a Bella Band tossed on to make them work. I'm hoping that several of my loose fitting tops & dresses will last for quite awhile with a nice comfy pair of leggings!

Best Moment this week: Making arrangement's for Lucy's (or I guess maybe Lucas's) gender reveal party! It's going to be so much fun and I can't wait to share in the excitement with all our friends & family!

And I've also decided to add an additional section...all about baby gear! I'm in the process of considering my options for so many different things so I thought I would see if all you moms or soon-to-be moms or ladies with friends who are moms have an opinion on different baby items! There is so much to choose from!

So this week...Baby Strollers...I think we've made our decision but would love your opinion! Did you go with a travel system? Or a snap-n-go unit and then another stroller down the road? Do you love it, like it, or hate it?

And another belly photo just for good measure...

For some reason I think I look way more pregnant in the photo above than in the this photo...and I promise I wasn't sucking in!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Productive Hump Day

With having Wednesday afternoons off, it seems that they either become really busy or really lazy, and almost always unproductive when it comes to that to-do list that always seems to be running in the back of my mind.

However, I am proud to report that today...things were much different. I'm not sure if it was just my mindset at the beginning of the day or if I really have started to get my energy back during the 2nd trimester, but I have been super duper productive today!

So let's recap shall we, today I have...
~worked a half-day
~made a prenatal appointment with a potential pediatrician
~started making arrangements for our big party on July 27th...we're having a GENDER REVEAL PARTY!
~folded the clean sheets & towels
~cleaned my makeup brushes
~made chocolate chip cookies
~and maybe one of the biggest accomplishments...I resisted the ridiculously strong temptation to have even a small spoonful of the cookie dough...considering the raw eggs I didn't think it was a good idea
~washed the bathroom rugs
~got caught up with my coupon clipping
~prepared dinner as much as I could, since Hubby is in charge of the grill tonight
~and the final thing on my to-do clean the bathrooms, which as I've mentioned many times before is seriously one of my most hated chores!

I'm pretty dang proud of myself. Now tonight, I can relax and know that I got a ton accomplished and enjoy fresh chocolate chip cookies...which may or may not be have had an ulterior motive of this delicious looking dessert...Chocolate Chip Cookie Milkshake

And tomorrow, the last day of June and my 15 wek post where I'll be revealing Baby Layman's nickname...until we come up with something a little more permanent!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Weekend Rewind

While I would love to sit here and say that we had another relaxing weekend, if I did so I would be lying through me teeth! It's been one thing after another and to be completely honest, Hubby & I are exhausted.

Our weekend began on Friday night with some small group obligations. I'll be sharing more in the coming week, but to make long story short, we are running a fireworks tent with almost all of the proceeds going to dig a well in a 3rd world country. Friday night was our first shift and I headed home about 11 pm while Hubby stayed and slept in the tent. It was a long night for both of us as he slept in the tent with Bogey & I stayed with my parents.

Saturday morning I headed over to say a quick "good morning" and then headed off to a wedding shower for one of my best friends. I have to admit that I failed miserably at the picture taking this weekend, for some reason I just wasn't in it...

The cake...Andrea is a teacher and I thought it was adorable!

Every woman who marries a hunter needs to have some camo-lingerie! This wasn't a personal shower, so this came as quite the shock when she pulled it out of the bag!

After the shower, I came home to meet Hubby after he had finished up the rest of his shift at the tent. We both spent the entire afternoon just vegging on the couch and trying to catch up on some sleep.

Saturday evening brought on some more fun as it was time for my 10 year High School Reunion. I seriously can't believe it's been 10 years already! I graduated with a class of only 36 kids so the reunion was expected to be fairly small. I was pleased with the turnout but honestly it ended up mainly being only that group of people who I hung out with...and honestly I keep up with most of them through Facebook anyway! Regardless, we had a great time and again I had a big, fat, fail in the photo department!

At least I managed to snap a photo of all the classmates in attendance...14 out of 36...not great, but decent.

This morning we headed to church, grabbed some lunch, and then spent the rest of the afternoon touring the rest of the homes on the local Parade of Homes. We saw some pretty extreme stuff but definitely lots of things we can dream about for our future house. When we finally came home at 5, all we could do was crash. We finally forced ourselves off the couch and out of the recliner to fix dinner, make a Walmart run, and do some things around the house....and now it's time for this girl to head to bed! Whew...definitely a busy, busy weekend!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bye, Bye, First Tri!

Well as of last Saturday, we officially departed the first trimester and headed full on into the 2nd! I can't believe that we're already 14 weeks along, it seems like yesterday we were revealing our big news to everyone. a milestone for entering the 2nd tri, I've decided to start doing some weekly pregnancy updates like so many other bloggers have done in the past.

I realize most of you probably won't care, but if anything this is just for my own personal memory...because we all know that I won't remember these details several months from now!

How Far Along: 14 1/2 Weeks...15 on Saturday!

And my first official blog belly's not the greatest first photo, but this is what a tired momma looks like after a half-day of work, a dr's appointment, and a fun afternoon of shopping with my mother-in-law. I was definitely ready for some comfy clothes, but really wanted to get a belly photo out there!

Total Weight Gain/Loss: It's really hard to say, the scale is saying about 2-3 lbs at this point but with dr's appointments at 1:30 in the afternoon I really think the scale numbers are going to be a bit skewed! I mean seriously, this momma has got to eat some lunch! So...I've been weighing on a full stomach; or maybe that's just the excuse I'll use for my entire pregnancy! ha!

Gender: I have no idea...but we find out in 5 weeks! Hubby is convinced we're having a little girl, but he's going against the grain as other old wives' tales are indicating a little baby boy!

Movement: Not yet, I can't even begin to imagine how wonderful that will feel! The dr. said yesterday that for a first-time momma I'll probably really start noticing it around 20 weeks.

Sleep: Still fabulous. I had started sleeping with a pillow between my legs before becoming pregnant and that seems to really help me sleep on my side!

What I miss: Jimmy John's...a nice big cold turkey & cheese sandwich! And caesar salad....

Cravings: Nothing really at this point, other than those things that I know I can't have. I think I only crave those because I know I CAN'T have them. I have been missing my Dr. Pepper, but I've started allowing myself one a day if needed for a little pick-me-up.

Symptoms: Definitely feeling a little tired, but not nearly as tired as I was around weeks 8-10 or so...and it's becoming nearly impossible to suck in. Thankfully I completely avoided any morning sickness for this pregnancy; woohoo!

Maternity Clothes: Not quite! I haven't had to officially sideline any of my dress pants or skinny jeans, but I figure it's only a matter of time before those get a Bella Band tossed on to make them work. I'm hoping that several of my loose fitting tops & dresses will last for quite awhile with a nice comfy pair of leggings!

Best Moment this week: Our doctor's appointment, another good, strong, normal heartbeat...everything is still going just fine & we made the official appointment for our Gender Ultrasound! Here we come July 27th!

And I can't believe I'm about to do this...but I figure it's just part of another belly photo, just a little more bare this time.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Michael Buble: Crazy Love

Last night Hubby & I headed out on the town for dinner & the Michael Buble concert. We joined my parents' at Doe's for a nice dinner and then headed over to the concert. A quick full disclaimer...I am NOT a concert-goer....I'm just not. I love a ton of different artists and enjoy listening to good music, but I've just never gotten into the concert scene.

However, when my parents' had the opportunity to buy early tickets to the Buble show...I couldn't pass it up! we went and I was definitely impressed!

The show started off with an accapella group...Naturally 7. They were absolutely incredible & so talented...I think Hubby might have been more entertained by them than by Michael Buble!

Naturally 7

Hubby & I

And then it was time for the show to start! We ended up having excellent seats & it was definitely an entertaining concert! He's a true entertainer and threw some hilarious comedy in with all the fabulous music!

The stage....

And the man of the hour...

About halfway through, they set up a small stage out in the middle of the floor and he performed almost right in front of us. He sang "Home" at this point & dedicated it to the Joplin Tornado Victims.

Do you want Michael in blue & green...?

or red & purple?

Definitely a fun evening!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Just a Little Off...

Do you ever have those weekends where nothing major goes wrong, but it seems like every little thing is just not quite right or as it should be? Well...that was us this weekend. By the end of the day on Sunday I think that Hubby & I were both waiting for something major to go wrong just because of all the little things that were adding up.

Again, it really wasn't anything major...but for the Superman Planners that we both are, any diversion on our seemingly perfect plans seems to become a big deal! Guess this is just a quick reminder that WE ARE NOT IN CONTROL!!!

Friday evening we headed out for dinner, a few errands, and dessert (at yet another new froyo place in our area...CherryBerry, it was delicious--give it a try!). When I got home from work, things were already "off" and certainly didn't improve. Some of the more noticeable issues...dinner was less than stellar and Hubby & I had tense conversation about everything & nothing. ha! This resulted in a nice quiet walk with Bogey since I think we both made the internal decision to just keep quiet, as it was just one of those nights were it was best to enjoy the peace & quiet of just being together instead of talking to each other...does this happen to anyone else?

Saturday morning was fine, I was at home working around the house while Hubby played golf with my dad & brother in our local Lions' Club tournament. We had plans to tour the new homes built for the Springfield HBA Parade, but after a longer round than he expected followed by lunch with my dad, brother, grandpa, & a few others...he didn't get home when he thought he would. So...we tried to make the best of it and hit up 5 of the 10 homes we were hoping to see! They were definitely gorgeous...and I'd live in any of them!

Saturday evening was probably one of the easiest parts of the whole weekend. We had made plans to have a casual dinner with some friends from small group & it couldn't have gone more perfectly! It was actually our first time hanging out as just the four of us and we had a blast. I had figured we would have dinner & play some yard games, but we ended up sitting at our kitchen table after dinner just talking about anything & everything for almost 3 hours! Who knows how long we would have chatted if they hadn't needed to head home because of some sick kiddos! We're definitely looking forward to our next casual evening together!

Sunday was Father's Day & I had decided on something classic for Hubby's first Father's Day gift. I purchased these cufflinks from RedEnvelope which he absolutely loved. Definitely something to remember his first Father's Day!

Red Envelope

We headed to church and enjoyed a really nice service, followed by our monthly turn in the nursery. Everything went just as we'd planned until it came close to time to leave, and then it all just fell apart. We had planned on getting to my parents' house as soon as possible and God definitely had other plans! ha! The second service ran about 15 minutes late, the line was long at the convenience store where I pick up my papers for couponing, the Quizno's where we planned to have lunch was actually out of business, then the drive-thru line at Wendy's took FOREVER, my food was cold and awful, and to cap things off...after we'd loaded up Bogey and had already left the house, we realized we left my dad's Father's Day present at back home we went to start over! AHHH!!! It was seriuosly a very frustrating couple of hours!

Never parents' pool, acreage out in the country, and some great company came to the rescue!

Our refuge from the "off" weekend!

My daddy & his other little girl!

Josie girl...she loves her some attention!

And then there was Romo who enjoyed being on the raft, in the water!

After dinner, we headed up to my next favorite body of grandparents' pond! Beautiful, peaceful, perfect...

My dad & you so much! And so thankful for our afternoon together!

And of course the father of my children!

Father & Furry Son...Bogey definitely wasn't into cooperating for a photo!

And the beautiful "Smart", my mom, Josie, & my SIL Millie

Thankfully, when we arrived at my parents' house we had no plans but lounging around the pool and enjoying the company. It was just Hubby & I, my parents, and my brother & his wife along with our large menagerie of pups! I honestly couldn't have asked for a better way to end such an "off" weekend!

And of course...a beautiful sunset to cap off thebeautiful day! Isn't God soooo good!?!?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day 2011

How many girls...

Get to spend nearly each & every day working along side their father, learning about life, love, & business throughout the entire day?

Get to grow up with a dad who never, never, never misses anything?

Are privileged to learn from their father's what to look for in a husband?

Have the blessing of having two men in her life who love her more than life itself?

Are witness to an incredible love between her parents that you know will never fade?

Get to be ecstatic about the idea that not only is her dad incredible, but she also gets to experience him as a fabulous grandpa?

I'm not sure how many, but me for sure.

And not to be forgotten or overlooked on his First official Father's Day...

How many girls almost burst with pride thinking about the fact that her amazing husband will soon have the chance to be an amazing father?

4 wks pregnant at the time...and just didn't know it quite yet!

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers and fathers-to-be!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

We're Expecting...Announced a few more times!

If you've hung on through the other big reveals, I promise...this is the last set. It was really important for us to be able to share our big news with all of those people who are near & dear to us. Which made for several big announcements over the course of several here we go!

We had our first dr.'s appointment on April 19, 2011 and while I knew that there were certainly risks with spilling the beans, I just couldn't hold in any longer! With our first appt. behind us, we decided there really was no good reason not to tell everyone! Most people we wanted to tell in person so coordinating that was definitely a little interesting, but I think it all worked out fabulously!

We decided to take advantage of the Easter holiday and tell my entire family on Easter Sunday. My little brother & his wife weren't going to be able to make it for the celebration so I made a phone call on Thursday night hoping so badly that they were both together. My hopes were confirmed when my brother answered the phone and said that he was studying & Millie was fixing turkey burgers. We small-talked for a bit and then it was time...." you think you're ready to be an uncle?" Oh how I wish I could have been there to see his reaction. It was priceless..."Really?" he said. And then I could hear him cover up the phone to tell Millie..."They're pregnant!" He was in such shock but SOOOO excited for us. Apparently he's been the one asking my parents every time he sees them if we're pregnant yet...well, we can officially say we are. At one point in the conversation he asked " far along are you?" and before I had a chance to answer..."Wow, that's just so weird to even ask my sister!" Thankfully they'll be here this summer so we can hangout and baby shop together! was so joyous and we've been enjoying every moment of sharing the news!

The proud parents-to-be!

Next up were our dear friends Derek & Andrea. Small group was cancelled for Easter Sunday and there was no way I could wait for 2 weeks to tell them. So...I made up some ridiciulous excuse to go over there (something about flowers to match a couple of dresses for HI) and headed over. Now here's something incredible. While I was having my blood drawn earlier that day, Nick had my phone in the waiting room playing angry birds. A text from Andrea came through that said...You r on my mind today...@ 2:25. Our appt was at 2:20. Seriously how incredible is that?!? So...when we got to their house we small-talked for a bit and since the kids were downstairs playing we took advantage of the quiet. I looked at Andrea and said..."So, when you sent me that text today, did that just come over you?" Yeah, she said. I proceeded to tell her that was just absolutely incredible because I received that text when I was sitting in the dr's office....because we're going to have a baby! She screamed so loud she made sweet little Cohen cry but it was so fun! They were seriously so excited for us and I can't wait for her to be with me on this journey. As a mother of 3, she's certainly got tons of wisdom and you can bet I'll be tapping into that on a regular basis!

That was all the reveals for a few days as we headed to STL. Easter Sunday came & my parents joined us for church. My mom was so excited to finally be able to share with someone the wonderful news. Nick & I decided to ask my dad to spill the beans at some point during or after the prayer over our meal. He always prays for those in our family who aren't able to be with us so it was the perfect opportunity. So...we gathered together and he prayed. He prayed for my brother & his wife, my cousin & his wife, and then prayed for all those who were in attendance, those who weren't, and those who were soon to come. hahaha...apparently some people caught on to something at that point.

After the prayer he said the he had been asked to announce that while there were 33 in attendance today, soon there would be 34! That's all he said, and walked away. Everyone glanced around the room for a few moments before realizing that Nick & I were the ones with huge smiles on our faces. It was incredible to be able to share such wonderful news with my entire family all at once. My grandparents were of course all thrilled. My Grandpa Herndon was standing next to my mom...and said "Lauren?" And my mom said yes and just smiled! My Grandma Herndon was standing next to one of my cousin's and my aunt and she said "What did she say?" When they responded, "You're going to be a Great Grandma" I think she about fainted. It was quite awhile before she ever got her feet back under her...she was truly in shock. My grandpa even sat down and chatted for a bit before heading to get his food...which NEVER happens! They were even upset at myself and my mom for not sharing the news sooner! hahaha!

Hubby & I with our revealing Easter basket & one of Baby Layman's first Easter present...a bunny of course! We also received 2 sets of newborn gowns in the mail from Hubby's parents...a set in blue, and a set in pink!

Obviously at this point, I knew it was a long shot....but I said that we hadn't had the opportunity to tell everyone we wanted to so if they could just keep quiet for a week then that would be wonderful. At that point we still hadn't had the chance to tell my coworkers, our small group or Hubby's sister, brother-in-law & nephews. I am proud to report that no one told early! ha!

My coworkers were next. I had my mom come to work along with my basket of eggs and after some coaxing, I was able to have them gathered together. I only work with 2 other ladies who aren't family, one of them caught on right away...and the other was in such shock that I don't think she realized what was happening! It was quite hilarious to see her so excited...of course she's the one who's been saying since Hubby & I got married that we needed to have kids! ha!

The small group reveal was another fun one! I was in charge of bringing dessert for dinner that night so I made cupcakes, complete with the big news! I sat down the platter of cupcakes at the kitchen table for everyone to see....and boy where they surprised!

Everyone was so excited and I seriously can't believe that God has blessed us with such an incredible group of friends to go along with us on this journey together.

And then finally, on that Monday evening...we were able to meet up with Hubby's sister & nephews for dinner. Hubby asked his oldest nephew Hunter if he thought he would like to have a baby cousin...of course he didn't quite understand, but my sister-in-law quicky caught on and joined in on the celebration!

Whew...I think that's all of the big reveals. It was such a blessing to tell so many different people in so many different ways. It never got old seeing the response and joy on our loved ones faces as we told them how God was blessing our family with a new addition!

It already seems like so long ago, but things are going so well & we're now 13 weeks along! The planning has begun and now we're just awaiting the big appointment in July when we can know whether to call this baby a he or a she!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Big Reveal #2...the Grandparents!

So I've decided with my reveal posts to just publish my posts that I wrote originally. I enjoy reading the thoughts that were leading up to the reveals and also my reactions right without further ado, a recap of the 2nd biggest reveal...the Grandparents!

Well today is the day. Today we are telling our parents about the little Layman who will be joining our family in just a few short months. We had originally planned to wait until after our first appointment on Thursday, but I just can't wait any longer!

I had this idea come to me even before the positive test, and when I mentioned it to Hubby he was all excited about it as well. So...seeing as this is the week before Easter, we decided to use the holiday and go for a holiday themed reveal. Saturday on my walmart visit, I picked up a dozen eggs, a Paas egg dye kit, some Easter grass, and an Easter basket.

Remember this post? Well, the dying of Easter eggs had more meaning than just a fun Easter activity this year!

Then last night Hubby & I died 14 eggs (I had a couple extra from another carton) and have plans to place them in the basket and present them to our parents. Well of course you're how are they gonna know? Those Paas kits come with a clear crayon that you can use to write on the eggs pre-dying. my nicest handwriting possible I wrote these words on the eggs....Blue or Pink What do you think???
We have plans to present the basket to my parents in person right before dinner tonight. We were sneaky and we've invited them to dinner posing as a celebration to the end of tax season...oh little do they know what's about to hit them!

Unfortunately, we can't drive all the way to Michigan to tell Nick's parents in person. So...we plan on texting them a photo of the eggs and then asking them to call with their opinion afterward! I so wish they were here in person to share in our joy! They'll both be here soon and I can't wait!

Believe it or not, I woke up incredibly nervous this morning. Like stomach in knots, nervous...and no, it wasn't morning sickness. This was like the same anxiety I feel when I know I'm gonna have my blood drawn. I seriously don't know what was wrong with me! Thankfully Nick hadn't left for work yet and he was able to talk me down from my crazed nervousness. All I needed was a little bit of reassurance that everything was going to be ok. I mean seriously, what am I worried about? I'm just a few hours away from telling my parents & my in-laws that we're bringing a baby into this world! Of course they're going to be overjoyed!

I called my parents on my way to work and casually invited them to dinner, under the disguise of celebrating the official tax season deadline. I mentioned just going somewhere casual and you know what my mom said?...well, let me talk to your dad, we were thinking of going down to the lake and going fishing tonight! can't do that! Thankfully, they decided they'd postpone fishing and come have dinner with us. They arrived at our house, and I was so excited, nervous, happy--basically just a big ball of emotion! I talked them into coming into our house because "Hubby wasn't quite ready"...and then proceeded to give them an early Easter present!

Of course, after news like that a casual restaurant wouldn't we headed to Doe's for a nice steak and Orange Leaf to celebrate!

We sent a photo of the Easter basket to Hubby's parents and after a few guesses, they finally asked..."Are you going to have a baby?!?" We were so thrilled to be able to share the news with them as well..even if it was a little bit more long distance than we would have liked!

Looking back on that evening, it couldn't have gone any more perfectly! My parents are ecstatic to be grandparents and have already started discussing their nicknames...I'll share those later once they've fully decided! The entire evening my mom was either really quiet or talking our legs off! I think she might have been just a tad bit excited. And one of my favorite memories is a phone call from the next morning...still in shock I think, my mom called before I came to work and said..."Well, I'm still excited to be a grandma!" I'm so, so glad that our children will have both sets of grandparents nearby and will even get to experience life with 4 of their great-grandparents! What an incredible blessing from God!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Lazy, Hazy Summer Weekend

While I hate to even say anything for fear of jinxing seems that God has blessed us this summer ( our last summer without children) with a lack of plans. For the most part, the majority of our summer weekends have a very limited number of plans which certainly makes for some nice relaxing weekends at home! It's been incredibly warm the past week or so, but this weekend brought a slight cooldown which was definitely very welcome!

Friday night Hubby & I had date night with a fancy dinner at Chick-Fil-A followed by Pirates of the Caribbean 4. We both really enjoyed the movie and it was really a completely different story from the other Pirate movies, which made it nice. Johnny Depp is great in this role, and this movie is no different!

Saturday was work in the morning for me, and golf for Hubby. We met up right about lunch-time, got Bogey loaded in the car & headed down to my parents' house for some pool time. I had also invited my cousin, his girlfriend, and Reba (their Australian Shepard) to join us for a little bit of dock-jumping at our grandparents' pond. All the pups had a fabulous time!

Bogey showing off his jumping skills!

The 3 Musketeers...Reba, Dallas, & Bogey

I think he would jump in after that stick all day, every day if we would keep throwing it!

After several hours at the pool & the pond, we packed up our things and headed to dinner. Pizza was on the menu and couldn't have been a more perfect way to end the evening. Everytime we spend time with my cousin & his girlfriend I always say we should do it more often...we have such great fun with them!

Today was another relaxing day. We had a great church service, a quick lunch, and then what has become a Sunday afternoon ritual...a nice long refreshing nap! This momma is so thankful for her Sunday afternoon naps! We finished off the evening with some yardwork, hot dogs on the grill and a fabulous summertime dessert....Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream!

Almost ready!

Perfection! This was a new recipe and seriously tasted like frozen chocolate mousse! It was so yummy & creamy! Of course the massive amounts of heavy cream & whole milk might have had something to do with the delciousness!

Another fabulous weekend is in the books...time for another week!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

My First Mother's Day

One small little detail that I might have left out of our Hawaii recaps was the fact that we were gone over Mother's Day. I had given Hubby a hard time a few weeks before trip, hinting at the fact that there was a holiday occurring while we were gone that didn't really used to mean anything...but it meant everything now!

Of course I could throw around these obnoxious statements because I knew he wouldn't forget...and I couldn't have been more correct!

Mother's Day happened our first full day in Maui and honestly I had kind of forgotten about it. Hubby wished me a Happy Mother's Day early in the morning and I got a few texts from friends but other than that it really wasn't a big deal. A sweet card, or something small was really all I might have even been slightly expecting. We were after all in Hawaii....what more could I ask for as a 1st Mother's Day present?
Well...Hubby apparently didn't think that was sufficient. After dinner at Lahaina Pizza Company, we were standing out near the boardwalk by the water and Hubby whips out a jewlery box.
And it wasn't just any jewelry box. It was a box that came from our jeweler...our jeweler where expensive items are sold. Fun, sparkly, expensive things....and inside was this...

A beautiful right-hand ring with alternating diamonds & amethysts (my birthstone)!

You see, several months ago...maybe even years ago...I discussed the fact that one day when we have children I would love to have simple rings that would stack on my finger to represent each of their birthdays. Of course I would want to start with my own birthstone, and my collection has now begun.

When I pulled the ring out of the box I was in shock. I almost felt like I had just been proposed too all over again. It is quite the accomplishment to surprise me...and Hubby certainly did. He'd actually been scheming for several weeks to get the ring just right. The company didn't make a ring with diamonds/amethysts so Hubby and my jeweler made some arrangements and had half of the diamonds replaced with amethysts...for the perfect end result!

I think I was in a state of shock for the rest of the evening!

My 1st Mother's Day couldn't have been any more special, being with the man I love on a beautiful island, celebrating the fact that in just 28 short weeks we won't just be husband & wife, but mom & dad. The ring is more than jew a piece of jewelry, it's a symbol of the start of something incredible.

And just like when you got engaged and can't stop looking at your engagement ring, everytime I look at my right hand I'm reminded of the commitment I've made and the commitment I'll have to make every day of my life to be a godly mother and wife.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Maui~Beach Time and then Goodbye Maui

Our last two days on Maui were mainly reserved for more time at the beach, but we did manage to have one more incredible experience before coming home.

During our travels, we always try to do something new--to try something that we've never done before, and something we certainly can't do at home. For Hawaii, we chose an excursion on an outrigger canoe. These are the kind of canoes the Polynesian people sailed to Hawaii on many years ago and it's actually the national sport of Hawaii. We joined up with another couple and two guides to spend 90 minutes paddling along the shores of Lahaina, learning some more Hawaiian history and seeking out sea turtles.

Getting ready to head out with our paddles...

The turtles would swim right up to our canoe...

Or they would just chill out on the ocean floor; the water was so clear we could see to the bottom in 20+ feet of water!

Why hello there Mr. Turtle!

It was an incredible experience and I'm so glad we were able to fit this in to our busy schedule!

After our canoe excursion, we had lunch at Leilani's, which turned out to be our favorite spot for lunch! I really have no idea why, but they had these nachos that were incredible! We had them 3 different times for lunch. We also finally were able to indulge in the famous Hula Pie. I can certainly see why it's famous!

Hubby & I at lunch @ Leilani's

And a half-eaten slice of Hula Pie...Oreo crust, ice cream pie with macadamia nuts, hot fudge topping, whipped cream, and toasted macadamia nuts on top...ok, I need to stop talking about it before I book a flight to Hawaii just to have a slice!

For the afternoon we easily found our way back to the beach cabanas and spent the afternoon in total couldn't have been any better!

This waterfall was right outside our hotel window and also the path we took each day to the beach!

A view from our hotel boardwalk

And the view from our beach cabanas!

This was the lobby of our hotel...I'm serious, this gorgeous waterfall was the first thing we saw each time we entered the hotel! Definitely made us feel like we were in paradise!

Friday night was our planned "fancy dinner." Food on Maui is notoriously expensive so we made reservations for one really nice dinner to celebrate our anniversary about a week early. We headed to Merriman's at Kapalua and it was incredible. The view was stunning, the food was incredible, and our dessert was on the house since we made reservations for our anniversary.

A view like this at sunset...yes please!

My meal...seared scallops, grilled asparagus, and creamed corn...yes, it was so good it deserved it's own photo!

Hubby & I at dinner!

Our chocolate purse for dessert with more Hawaiian Anniversary wishes!

Merriman's @ Kapalua, definitely an incredible evening to end an incredible week....

On Saturday, our plane wasn't scheduled to depart until 10:30 pm so we were able to enjoy the rest of the day at our hotel by making arrangements for a late checkout and reserving some time in the hospitality room to clean up. We spent another day at the cabanas, had another lunch at Leilani's--this time with free Hula Pie, and stayed at the beach until the cabana boy told us we had to leave!

Love the blue sky & palm trees...Maui, we'll definitely be back!

We thought this was awesome...this guy was paddle surfing with his puppy! Made us definitely miss Bogey!

And one last shot from our balcony!

Hubby & a slice of Hula Pie!

And one more view from the cabanas!

It was so nice to have the hospitality room to shower and get ready for the long flight home. We had dinner at a pizza place we had noticed when heading out towards the Road to Hana and it wasn't that far from the airport. The pizza was decent, but definitely not one of our favorite meals while we were visiting paradise.

We headed to the airport and checked in, complete with our box of 5 large pineapple and headed home. Our flights were completely smooth this time around. We got home, had a quick lunch with my parents after they picked us up from the airport and then promptly went home for a 3+ hour nap! When we started planning this vacation, we had hopes that it would be our last big trip as only husband & wife. However, I had no idea that God would actually turn it into our Babymoon! I couldn't have asked for more! While paradise was wonderful, home is pretty perfect to me as well.